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Halloween Safety Tips From the WI Clearinghouse for Missing and Exploited Children and Adults and the State Fire Marshal


Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, the Wisconsin Clearing House, in conjunction with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Adults, along with our State Fire Marshal Tina Virgil and the National Association of State Fire Marshals would like to wish everyone a "ghostly" Happy Halloween.  Halloween has been a fun-filled event throughout the state. Traditionally children will dress in costume and go door to door for Trick-or-Treat, communities will attend costume parties, bon fires, and jack-o-lantern carving.  Here are a few rules to share encouraging safety to ensure a happy and memorable time for all.   



  • Use reflective tape and carry a flashlight if going out after dark. 
  • Be sure that older children take friends and younger children are accompanied by a trusted adult when Trick-or-Treating.  
  • Accompany younger children to the door of every home approached. 
  • Teach children never to enter a home without prior permission from a parent or guardian. 
  • Teach children never to approach a vehicle, occupied or not, unless they know the owner and are accompanied by a parent or guardian. 
  • Teach children to never approach a home that is not well lit inside and outside. 
  • Families may want to organize or attend parties at home, in schools, or in community centers as a good alternative to Trick-or-Treating. 


  • Please take time and care in choosing the appropriate costumes for your family.  Ensure store-purchased costumes are flame resistant. 
  • Costumes made primarily of polyester or nylon fabric typically do not ignite from a small flame such as a candle and if they do, the resulting fire may burn slowly and may be readily extinguished.  If you are making costumes from scratch, choose polyester or nylon fabrics for greater flame resistance 
  • Make sure Halloween costumes fit properly.  Allow extra room for warm clothes to be worn underneath the costume while avoiding long, loose fitting costumes potentially posing a trip hazard or increasing the chances of being ignited by an open flame like a candle. 
  • Always supervise children as they go Trick-or-Treating, taking special care to avoid lit candles and jack-o-lanterns, high heat or flaming decorations. 
  • If a costume does catch fire, remember to "Stop, Drop and Roll." This serves to keep flames away from the upper body, neck and facial areas.  It also helps to slow or reduce flame spread and smother the flames.




  • Keep hay, straw, dried corn stalks and other decorations away from heat sources like hot lamps and candles.
  • Keep open flames such as candles away from curtains, decorations or other objects that could catch fire.
  • Never leave lit candles unattended. 
  • Any open flame can be potentially dangerous.  Consider purchasing battery operated lights to place inside of jack-o-lanterns.

For more information about Halloween safety and child safety in general, go to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at